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How to Conduct an Audit-Approved Inventory Stock Count for Your Business

Updated: Feb 28, 2023


Conducting an inventory stock count is an essential part of any business's financial management process, and it's crucial to conduct it in an audit-appropriate manner. An inventory stock count involves physically counting the items in your inventory and reconciling the count with your inventory records to identify any discrepancies. Here's an instructable article on how to conduct an inventory stock count in an audit-appropriate manner.


Step 1: Plan the Stock Count

Before conducting an inventory stock count, you need to plan the stock count. You need to decide what items you'll be counting, who'll be conducting the count, and when you'll be conducting the count. You also need to prepare the necessary tools and equipment, such as clipboards, pens, calculators, barcode scanners, and bin labels.


Step 2: Prepare the Inventory Records

Ensure your inventory records are up to date before conducting the stock count. If you're using a computerized inventory management system, print out a copy of the inventory list to use during the stock count. If you're using a manual system, ensure that your inventory ledger is up to date and accurate.



Step 3: Assign Roles and Responsibilities

Assign specific roles and responsibilities to each person involved in the stock count. For example, someone can be responsible for counting, while someone else can be responsible for recording the count on the inventory list.


Step 4: Conduct the Stock Count

On the day of the stock count, ensure that all employees involved are present and ready to begin. Start by selecting a small section of the inventory and count the items one by one, comparing the count to the inventory records. Record any discrepancies you find on the inventory list.



Step 5: Reconcile the Inventory Records

After the stock count is complete, reconcile the inventory records with the physical count. Record any discrepancies, including missing or damaged items, on the inventory list.


Step 6: Investigate Discrepancies

Investigate any discrepancies you find during the stock count. Determine the cause of the discrepancy, such as theft, miscounting, or damaged items, and take appropriate action.



Step 7: Report the Results

Finally, report the results of the stock count to the relevant stakeholders, such as management or auditors. The report should include the inventory list, any discrepancies found, and the actions taken to rectify any issues.


In conclusion, conducting an inventory stock count is an important part of managing your business's finances, and it's essential to conduct it in an audit-appropriate manner. By following these steps, you can ensure that your inventory records are accurate, and any discrepancies are identified and investigated promptly.

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